"I work at Common Justice because I believe in the power of radical love as a tool to restore and heal." -- Deema Nagib
“I work at Common Justice because I believe that survivors of violence have the power and empathy to disrupt cycles of violence.” -- Inez Scott
"I work at Common Justice because I believe in the myriad untapped possibilities Restorative Justice practices have to offer us; OUTSIDE of incarcerating people, for addressing harm." -- Chandeerah S. Davis
"I work at Common Justice because I believe the problem of mass incarceration needs to be met with high standards of humanity, compassion, and concern." -- Chelsea Kirk
Ana has worked closely with social service organizations to design and implement programs tailored to the needs of marginalized populations. Prior to joining Common Justice, Ana provided support [because this was a start-up my role shifted back and forth] to the ACS Workforce Institute, a training program for New York City child welfare workers. On her spare time, Ana volunteers as a self-defense instructor with the Center for Anti-Violence Education, a Brooklyn-based violent prevention program. Ana brings to Common Justice a passion for helping others, a dedication healing and social justice, and a great sense of humor.
"I work at Common Justice because I’m committed to fighting violence through compassion, empathy, and healing."
Director of Communications
Aseante Renee is a communications strategist with 12+ years of experience in facilitation, curriculum design, and culturally inclusive community engagement work across the nation. She uses her expertise to create strategic opportunity for sustainable progress. Aseante is also the co-director and producer of the digital project Ever After: Stories of Violence, Accountability, and Healing (myeverafter.org). Prior to joining Common Justice, Aseante was a policy advisor with the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice where she led the operationalizing of reconciliation work between communities of color and local law enforcement in six pilot cities. She earned her BA in Marketing from Hampton University and her MSW from The University of Texas at Austin.
"I work at Common Justice because I know the best responses to violence will be envisioned and led by the people who survived it."
Chief of Staff
Bridgette rejoined Common Justice as the Chief of Staff. She has extensive experience working on behalf of young people impacted by violence. Prior to rejoining Common Justice, Bridgette was the Deputy Director at the Criminal Justice Initiative (CJI), where she was responsible for overseeing operations and programming. During her tenure, she secured additional funding and a new partnership with Open Society Foundation to increase CJI’s grantmaking to include and focus on sex-workers’ rights, harm-reduction initiatives, pre-arrest and pre-booking diversion programming as part of the CJI’s funding priorities.
Before CJI, Bridgette previously served at Common Justice as the National Survivor Specialist. During this time, Bridgette led a collaborative effort to support grassroots organizations in building their organizational and advocacy capacity to shift federal funding to underserved organizations, which led to over 3.8 million dollars being awarded to grassroots organizations and 1 million dollars for city government-based initiatives for underserved populations. As well, she also supported the development of Common Justice’s learning collaborative, HealingWorks. Earlier in her career, Bridgette worked at the W. Haywood Burns Institute as a Site Manager, where she provided technical assistance to jurisdictions around the country on addressing racial and ethnic disparities within the youth justice system.
In her role, Bridgette conducted assessments, trained probation officers, judges, and law enforcement, and provided intensive site services to more than 200 stakeholders on improving life outcomes for youth of color. Before that, Bridgette worked at Parenting for Prevention and Catholic Charities providing counseling services for youth and their families. She also worked as a case manager for youth returning from secure confinement with the Youth Empowerment Project of Louisiana, as an education advocate at the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, and as the Orleans Parish's JDAI Coordinator, where she facilitated a collaborative process with various stakeholders to reduce the number of youth detained in New Orleans and to create alternatives to secure detention.
Bridgette received her Bachelor’s and Master's Degrees from Xavier University of Louisiana.
“I work at Common Justice because I know to address the impact of violence and harm on communities that we must have both conversations at the table – the harmed and responsible party. At Common Justice, we hold and model this value throughout the organization.”
Chandeerah S. Davis
Chandeerah S. Davis has an extensive background in social justice work. As a prison abolitionist and child of an incarcerated parent, Chandeerah has spent much of her life working to advocate for and provide services to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals. Early on she served in Prison Ministry at Nassau County Correctional Facility. Later, while pursuing her education in Human Development at Cornell University, Chandeerah also volunteered as a Teaching Assistant for the Cornell Prison Education Program. Her work there sparked the desire to serve as a weekly mentor with Project Lansing where she was able to collaborate with detained girls in a residential correctional facility.
Before joining Common Justice, Chandeerah worked in Youth Development and enjoyed supporting adolescent survivors of domestic violence and intimate partner violence in schools and the community around NYC. She then became a Counselor/Advocate supporting and advocating for criminalized survivors of intimate partner violence facing felony level charges related to their efforts to survive. Chandeerah’s experience and expertise spans 2 decades with diverse adult and youth audiences. She participates in training and education intended to increase awareness of the epidemic of gender-based violence. She is also an advocate of efforts designed to transform the rhetoric and institutions that sustain such violence.
Because she holds a personal commitment to anti-racist approaches around healing trauma and dismantling systems of oppression, Chandeerah has focused on working in partnership with justice involved people to process trauma and develop the strengths, competencies, and personal attributes they already possess. She’s dedicated to being in community with those whose voices have historically been silenced.
"I work at Common Justice because I believe in the myriad untapped possibilities Restorative Justice practices have to offer us; OUTSIDE of incarcerating people, for addressing harm."
Chelsea Kirk is a Program Coordinator for HealingWorks. Prior to joining Common Justice, Chelsea worked on political campaigns and with community-based advocacy groups focused on tenants’ rights and housing justice in Los Angeles. Chelsea also participated in policy research to address and design solutions to the housing crisis and population displacement through the University of Southern California. In 2016, Chelsea volunteered on the Bernie 2016 campaign, attending the Democratic National Convention. Chelsea holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Southern California.
"I work at Common Justice because I believe the problem of mass incarceration needs to be met with high standards of humanity, compassion, and concern."
Danielle Sered envisioned, launched, and directs Common Justice. Before planning the launch of Common Justice, Danielle served as the deputy director of the Vera Institute of Justice’s Adolescent Reentry Initiative, a program for young men returning from incarceration on Rikers Island. Prior to joining Vera, she worked at the Center for Court Innovation's Harlem Community Justice Center, where she led its programs for court-involved and recently incarcerated youth.
Danielle sits on the Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims, the Advisory Council to the New York State Office of Victims Services, the New York State Governor’s Council on Reentry and Community Reintegration, and the Advisory Board to the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice. She has presented at the Aspen Ideas Festival, the Atlantic Magazine Summit on Race and Justice, and the Bipartisan Summit on Criminal Justice Reform, and is the author of The Other Side of Harm: Addressing Disparities in our Responses to Violence, of Accounting for Violence: How to Increase Safety and Break Our Failed Reliance on Mass Incarceration, and the forthcoming book Until We Reckon: Violence, Mass Incarceration, and a Road to Repair.
Danielle received the 67th Precinct Council Award for Service, given in recognition for leadership in reducing violence in Brooklyn, and the Brown Memorial Baptist Church Extraordinary Woman Award. Under her leadership, Common Justice received the Award for Innovation in Victim Services from Attorney General Holder and the federal Office for Victims of Crime in 2012. A Stoneleigh fellow, Danielle received her BA from Emory University and her masters degrees from New York University and Oxford University (UK), where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar.
"I work at Common Justice because I know we cannot just critique violence and mass incarceration. We have to--and we can-- build the practical, moral solutions that will displace them."
Deema Nagib is the Outreach Manager in Common Justice’s Bronx location. A recent graduate of Fordham University School of Law, she interned with the Legal Aid Society’s Prisoners’ Rights Project and the Orleans Public Defenders. In addition, Deema was a student advocate in the Criminal Defense Clinic.
Deema holds a J.D. from Fordham University and a BSc. in Applied Psychology from New York University. "
"I work at Common Justice because I believe in the power of radical love as a tool to restore and heal."
Donnell Penny joined Common Justice in March 2014 as an assistant coordinator and expanded his work to lead its MOVE (Men Opposing Violence Everywhere) groups and its engagement of program graduates before joining the team as a Case Coordinator. A Brooklyn native, Donnell has held a variety of positions in social services, including working as a youth counselor and a home health aide.
Donnell brings to the project a strong commitment to restorative justice, violence intervention, and advancing the well-being of his peers and his community. He is also a proud graduate of Common Justice.
Senior Manager for Operations & Development
Hyunhee is the Senior Manager for Operations and Development. Prior to joining Common Justice, she served as Program Associate at the Just Beginnings Collaborative and the Ms. Foundation for Women, supporting funder engagement, grantmaking, and capacity building on the issue of child sexual abuse. Hyunhee has served as a member of the Young Women's Advisory Council in New York City and sat on the Anti-Violence and Criminal Justice Working Group. She also served as a member of the Advisory Board for the HEAL Project, the Planning Committee for Third Wave Fund’s Gender Bash, and the Fundraising Committee for CAAAV’s Karaoke Battle. Hyunhee received her B.A. in Philosophy and Russian Literature & Language from Barnard College.
Hyunhee received her B.A. in Philosophy and Russian Literature & Language from Barnard College.
Inez Scott is the Intervention Manager with Common Justice. Prior to coming to Common Justice Inez advocated for survivors of rape and domestic violence in various cities while serving in the United States Air Force. Inez has over 15 years of experience working with survivors of violence and trauma.
Inez began working with youth involved in the criminal justice system as a research assistant at New York University. While working on her Bachelor’s Inez aided in the development of interventions for young women and men involved in, or at risk for entry into the criminal justice system. Inez holds a B.S. in Applied Psychology from New York University.
“I work at Common Justice because I believe that survivors of violence have the power and empathy to disrupt cycles of violence.”
Lauren Lipps is the outreach manager for Common Justice. She previously worked at Common Justice as a Masters in Social Work (MSW) intern. In this capacity she helped to develop HealingWorks.org, a national learning collaborative for practitioners who work with young men of color who have been harmed by violence and trauma.
Lauren started working with justice-involved youth over a decade ago. Her work has spanned from San Francisco to New York.
Lauren holds a B.A. in Sociology from The College of Wooster and a MSW from Hunter College’s Silberman School of Social Work.
HealingWorks Communities Director
Michael Rowe joined the Vera Institute of Justice in May 2015 as a case coordinator with Common Justice. In 2016, he was promoted to the position of HealingWorks Program Director. He began his social service career at Exodus Transitional Community as a contract coach. He also mentored youth, ages 16 to 24, in the ARCHES program. Previously, Michael worked as a community health advocate in the Coming Home Program at St. Luke’s Hospital. He has a keen desire to deter young people from committing violent crime and a commitment to serving crime victims. Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in social studies from Bard College and a Master of Professional Studies from the New York Theological Seminary.
"I work at Common Justice because I believe healing is the foundation of personal growth, productivity, and love."
HealingWorks National Director
Richard Smith has nearly two decades of experience developing and implementing community-based programs for disadvantaged populations. He has developed reentry programs for returning citizens at both the Center for Law and Justice and Treatment Alternatives for Safer Communities TASC in Albany, New York. Richard has worked with high risk youth as both a case manager and program director in New York’s Capital District and the City of Boston.
Richard has taught criminal justice and history courses as an Adjunct Professor at SUNY Empire State College and Sage College and has guest lectured at numerous colleges and universities on issues such as racism, mass incarceration, and trauma and healing. He is presently a doctoral candidate at SUNY Albany’s School of Social Welfare. His research focus is male survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Richard is currently the National Director of HealingWorks, a national learning collaborative for people working with young men of color who have been harmed by violence, and their communities. He holds a Master’s Degree from the University at Albany in Africana Studies and a Bachelor’s Degree from Boston University in Sociology. He is the proud father of two sons, Kaden (4 years.) and Kaleb (5 years).
"I work at Common Justice because acts of fearless compassion are at the core of healing and social justice."
Senior Intervention Manager
RJ Maccani has been active in movements addressing state, community, and interpersonal violence since the late ’90s. He brings nearly a decade of experience in transformative justice responses to violence as well as trauma-informed therapy and leadership development to his work with Common Justice. RJ is a lead teacher and practitioner with Generative Somatics, building the capacity of social and environmental justice leaders, organizations, and alliances to transform ourselves, our communities, and the world. As a co-founder of the Challenging Male Supremacy Project and leadership team member for generationFIVE, his transformative justice work has focused on addressing violence against women, queer and trans people, and children. RJ holds a Master of Social Work from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College.
"I work at Common Justice because all human beings deserve the opportunity to grow, to heal, to make and receive amends."
Assistant Director of Trauma Support Services
Assistant Director of Trauma Support Services at Common Justice, Sergia Andrade has more than two decades of experience in the social service field and international women’s work. She graduated from City College of New York with a BA in Black Studies and a minor in Women’s Studies, while there she represented the University at several international conferences, including the United Nations Conference on Women & NGO Conference on Women Beijing China. In 1994 she studied abroad in Senegal & Guinea (Fouta Djallon) with Association of African Women for Research and Development, and in 1995 she participated in study abroad at the Universidad Autonoma De Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic, and conducted her field study at INSTRAW (United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women).
Sergia believed at the time that her life’s work would be advocating for the inclusion of African women’s voices not only United Nation processes but also in feminist circles making room for non-traditional and indigenous women. The fall of 1997 changed this forever. Sergia was the victim of a violent crime by someone who was chemically dependent and mentally ill. After recovering from her injuries, she had to engage the criminal justice system, and this experience changed her forever. Sergia wanted the person who harmed her to get treatment and not jail time. After expressing this to the district attorney’s office and being treated disrespectfully, she took matters into her own hands and assisted the defense attorney of the person who harmed her in securing a reduced sentence. This began her active engagement with the mental health and criminal justice systems. She has since worked as an ICM (Intensive Case Management) for the New York State Department of Mental Health now OPWDD (Office for People with Developmental Disabilities); an AOT Worker (Assisted Out Patient Treatment) for Mental Health Court; a Reintegration Case Manager at Brooklyn CCC (Community Corrections Center) Halfway House for Federal Bureau of Prisons; and as the Parenting Teacher at Federal Bureau of Prisons Detention Center MCC (Metropolitan Correctional Center).
In 2009 Sergia graduated from The New School: Milano School of International Affairs, Management & Urban Policy as a Master of Science in Organizational Change & Management with hopes of using her experience and passion to bring both harmed and responsible parties justice. Sergia is polyglot, loves African history, is an activist/aspiring prison abolitionist and a proud mother of two.
Sergia now leads Common Justice’s work with people who survive violence. In this role, she connects survivors to appropriate services and supports, conducts safety planning, delivers trauma-informed curriculum and services to survivors; facilitates groups for survivors with a focus on violence, trauma, coping tactics, and culturally-rooted healing strategies; co-facilitates dialogues with survivors/harmed parties and responsible parties; and collaborate with Common Justice’s project, HealingWorks, a field- and movement-building effort focused on advancing healing equity.
"Because Justice isn't a commodity, it is our right."
Senior Intervention Manager
Steven Mangual is a long-time Advocate and Activists in the fields of health, social and criminal justice. He has been part of the movement to raise awareness of the need to have the voices, narratives, and unique needs of the Latinx community infused in criminal justice reform. Steven has been part of the struggled for the release of Puerto Rican Political Prisoners, ending solitary confinement, and Parole Justice in NYS, among other things. He has been the Latino Affairs Producer / Communications Manager for “On The Count: The Prison and Criminal Justice Report” since November 2006. His passion has been HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis health education/advocacy as well as humanizing the criminal justice system from within the NYS Department of Corrections under Volunteer Services, during reentry and now in the Front-end. Steven Mangual holds an Associate’s in Applied Sciences Degree in Human Services from Bronx Community College and a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Social Work from Lehman College.
"I work at Common Justice because I believe the struggle for human justice is rooted in strong feelings of Love as well as in the Power of Responsibility."
Tia Elliott is the Program Coordinator for Common Justice and HealingWorks.org, a national learning collaborative for practitioners who work with young men of color who have been harmed by violence and trauma.
Tia previously worked at Common Justice as an intern through the prestigious John Jay Vera Fellows Program. Prior to joining Common Justice, Tia was a volunteer with the Prison-to-College-Pipeline (P2CP), a program that offers access to higher education, learning exchanges and reentry services for the incarcerated men of Otisville Correctional Facility. In addition to her work with Otisville Correctional Facility, Tia participated in the P2CP’s first international learning exchange in Drakenstein Correctional Centre and Pollsmoor Prison in January 2017.
Tia began her social justice work five years ago. Her work has spanned Cape Town, South Africa, Rabat, Morocco and New York.
Tia holds a B.A. in English from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
"I work at Common Justice because I believe empathy is the most powerful weapon one can use to counter violence."
Trauma Support Manager
Yozmine Modeste holds a Master in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the College of Staten Island and has been an activist and support for people of color working in underserved communities and schools. In an effort to combat the School- to-Prison Pipeline, much of Yozmine’s work has been providing skills, supports and resources to youth and their families. Through her work, Yozmine continues to raise awareness about mental health in communities of color and offer a space for people to feel safe to explore and discuss their experiences and facilitate healing.
“I work at Common Justice because survivors have the power to redefine their narrative and Common Justice facilitates ways to do just that.”